I have great memories of spending time with my grandmother Marion. She was always glamorous, impeccably dressed, and a 40’s era independant woman. She was never big into cooking, as she grew up in a very traditional, Mormon family where roles were very singular, so I think she tried to go a different route than her own mother had. She was still very religious, but she was always using convenience products to speed up the process of feeding us kids, so she could get back to her “programs” and dictation job. One dish she frequently made was one directly from the back of a “Minute rice” box from the early eighties. This dish “Taco rice” had ground beef, jarred salsa, canned corn, and of course minute rice, then she topped it with cheddar cheese, corn chips, and olives. I still remember her catching me adding additional salt and pepper to her pan when she turned her back, “No Alexandra, the Dr. says extra salt is bad for us!” she would scold dressed in her housecoat. Blandness aside, I loved eating at her house,so in memory of Grandma Marion, I rehabbed one of my beloved Grandma’s favorites and I think you will agree, it is anything but bland!
1 1/2 C. tomatoes, canned or fresh, I used a mix of both
3 cloves garlic
1/4 C. Peeled and roasted,Green chiles, it’s Hatch season so I roasted and peeled my own, but you can have this year round using the canned variety.
1 Green bell pepper, cut into large chunks.
a pinch or two of salt, depending on if you are using canned tomatoes which already contain salt.
1.5 C. Jasmine rice, rinsed
.5 lb ground pork
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 C. stock, I used chicken but veggie is also good.
1/4 C. dry white wine
1 T. oil
1 C. shredded cheddar, or whatever melty cheese you like
1/4 C. sliced olives
sliced green onions and cilantro (both optional)
a squeeze or two of lime juice
Make your sofrito by combining all ingredients in a processor or blender and pulse a few times. Taste to check salt level, adjust if needed.
Over medium heat in a large pan that has a tight fitting lid, place oil, add ground pork, and cook until meat is golden brown, about eight minutes. Add rinsed rice, and turn up to medium high, cook rice until it becomes fragrant, and toasty. Add sofrito mixture, stir and cook for a minute or two, than add wine, deglaze. Add stock, and pintos, stir. Once it is bubbling, turn heat down to low and put lid on and cook twenty minutes. Remove lid, and heat broiler, fluff the rice a bit and squeeze in the lime and top with cheese and olives, broil till browned, add whatever other garnishes you like and serve!